Determine whether or not continued operation and ownership of Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam (USAF) is in the federal interest, and if not, provide supporting information for deauthorization of the project purposes and disposal of the property.
USAF is located on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
USAF was ordered closed to navigation on June 9, 2015, under Section 2010 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014.
Sections 1168 and 1225 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of October 24, 2018, directed the Corps to expedite completion of a disposition study for Upper St. Anthony Falls and to examine partial disposal, environmental and natural resource improvement opportunities, and dam removal.
Section 356 of the Water Resources Development Act of December 27, 2020 (WRDA 2020), directed that all or substantially all the lands around the USAF lock be conveyed to the city of Minneapolis, and that additional licenses and easements be granted to the city for any lands and features that are not otherwise conveyed.
The Corps published a draft disposition study report in January 2021, recommending full disposal of features not conveyed to the city under WRDA 2020, combined with a monetary incentive to the new owner. The remaining features include the lock structure, an upstream crossover wall, guide walls, dolphins, and the downstream rock dike. The draft report invited outside parties to submit letters of interest in future ownership, however no one expressed interest. Formal Tribal and Section 106 consultation began in February 2021 and is ongoing.
Conveyance activities began in June 2022. In December 2022, the Corps identified lands available for conveyance to the city. Due to on-going navigation mission and O&M needs, excess lands are subject to Corps reserved rights for O&M, and conveyance would exclude significant tracts of interest to the city. As a result, the city is interested in modifying the structure and functions to meet its goals prior to conveyance.
Pending receipt of full funding, the disposition report will be finalized following confirmation of the lands and interests to be conveyed to the city of Minneapolis under WRDA 2020. If disposal of the remaining features is still recommended, a final report will be forwarded for approval by the director of Civil Works. The report will then be forwarded to Congress for consideration of the Corps’ recommendations.
Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 allows the Corps to study completed projects or their operation when found advisable due to significantly changed physical or economic conditions. Federal property disposal is managed by the General Services Administration as governed by federal law.
Baseline estimated cost of the study was $2 million over two years. A total of $1,764,513 has been obligated to date. The fiscal year 2024 President’s Budget is $150,000. FY 24 capacity is $250,000. The updated study completion estimate is $500,000. The cost of disposition studies has been funded under the Investigations appropriation and workplan.